2014 POEFF Teacher Advisory Panel

A passionate and dedicated group of educators volunteer each year to advise the POEFF Directors on their film selections for the POEFF Education Outreach Programs: Student Voices for Peace Showcase and Dialogue for Peace Outreach and the Dialogue for Peace – Extended.

The Teachers Advisory Panel screens and rates several Official Selections on age and content for students in grades 6 – 12, and discusses the viability of the films for generating dialogue on peace and nonviolence in a school setting.


Amy Appleman Teacher – LEARN Charter Schools Network, Chicago, IL

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Amy attended the College for Creative Studies where she earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree. Arriving in Chicago in 2007 she combine her two passions: art and education. As an elementary art educator has allowed Amy to open up new worlds of creativity to our city’s youth. “I am inspired and challenged every day, as the potential for growth within the children I teach knows no bounds”.


Sousan Ayyad Counselor – Islamic Foundation School, Villa Park, IL


Jennifer DeBruin Teacher – Percy Julian Middle School, Oak Park, IL

Jennifer DeBruin is currently the International Baccalaureate coordinator at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park. Before becoming the coordinator she taught mathematics and gifted courses.

Prior to teaching in Oak Park, Jennifer taught at Josephine Locke Elementary School in Chicago for 5 years, teaching math and reading.

Jennifer lives in Roscoe Village with her husband, son, and black lab. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and enjoying everything city life has to offer. 


Brad J. Parker Teacher, IB Coordinator – J. Locke Elementary, Chicago, IL

Brad Parker is a National Board Certified Teacher and current International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme Coordinator at Locke School in Chicago. He works with sixth through eighth grade students in all subject areas, ranging from language arts to music and design technology, to incorporate a holistic model of education with an international focus. At Locke School, students and staff strive to see education as a tool for creating a better and more peaceful world, and it all begins with us.


Erik Olson Teacher, IB Coordinator – Amundsen High School, Chicago, IL

Erik Olson is an International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Amundsen High School in Chicago, Illinois. A man with many hats, he is also an educational data strategist, an athletic director, and a varsity swim coach.

Olson is a graduate of Luther College (B.A., 2005) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (M.Ed., 2011). He is currently enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University (M.A., 2015) where he anticipates earning a degree in Educational Leadership as well as the Illinois Principal Endorsement.

Erik was named as an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2014 and is an active member of the Illinois ASCD affiliate.


John Colucci Teacher – Percy Julian Middle School, Oak Park, IL

John Colucci started teaching after graduating from Northwestern in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in English and Secondary Teaching.  His career began on Chicago’s south side, at Kenwood Academy High School, where he taught a wide range of 9-12th grade English classes and coached the Debate Team.  For the past two years, he has taught 7th grade English at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park.

When he’s not reviewing films for POEFF, John also teaches with Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development, makes things at his art studio, and gives tours at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.